Thursday, January 17, 2013

Stompin' lies and I will kill 'em all

Testing against Noah, the Churning Eddy was doing what I wanted it to do: slow him down and give him more cards in hand to deal with. Games were often tight: when I won, I won narrowly. Still, I was winning.

I got more good feedback playing a mono-green deck my girlfriend was piloting. I kept this hand: Vision Skeins, Blood Oath, Rampant Growth, Volcanic Spray, Hurricane and Storm Seeker with one Mountain (not pictured). My thought process: If I draw a Mountain: Volcanic Spray, an Island: Vision Skeins, a Forest: Rampant Growth, all solid plays within the next three turns. I can draw into any land in this deck and have it work out.

I got lucky: topdeck Forest, play Rampant Growth, go on to...lose the game. But that had more to do with a  bear related Overrun. The important points: Rampant Growth is good, the deck has enough lands that I can occasionally get lucky (but don't count on it!) Essentially: do as I say, not as I do.

During our games, near the end of one of his turns, Noah said "I'm just so worried about instants." That statement stuck around, even though at the moment I took it with a smile and nod, because I 'already' know this. Fortunately, it stuck with me because the goal is to get these decks to work better.

As with so many of my better ideas, this one came to me while walking. If getting two permanents returned to hand is good, then all the permanents would be better. But how to do this effectively? Devastation Tide could work, if I had enough mana out: U1 for the Miracle, R3 for Blood Oath or Sudden Impact and that should be the win. All I need is six mana, right?

Except for Devastation Tide to really be effective, I'd want to do this on my opponent's turn and that means a card like Peek or Vision Skeins, so now it's seven or eight mana to pull of this master plan. The flawof course is that if it doesn't win the game for me outright, it's likely going to take four more turns to get enough mana to win, four turns that any solid opponent will use to make my position untenable.

Which is where Cyclonic Rift comes in. I can use them in the early game as bounce and then for seven mana, return nearly everything to my opponent's hand at the end of turn. An instant in both cases, this gives me a pretty solid set of options in the early and late stages of the game, and with 24 lands, three land search cards and eleven other draw spells, I should be able to hit my land drops every turn in order to cast the Cyclonic Rift pretty regularly when I need to. Finally, if for some reason this doesn't finish the game, I've still got all my lands in play: my opponents will have lands but no other win conditions, and have to start over. It's just a better deal.

So for now, it's -2 Churning Eddy +2 Cyclonic Rift.

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